Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on review (S8 Plus too): Drop-dead gorgeous

We got our hands on a pre-sale unit of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. And so, we bring you our first impressions and hands-on photos. Our conclusion: the S8 is a drool-worthy, drop-dead gorgeous smartphone. But we know you want the full gist; don’t you? Enjoy our Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on review and photos.

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on review top front

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on Review: Curved screen

The display is curved at the edges just like on the LG G6. Aspect ratio of the display makes the S8 very handy. Even though the display is 5.8 inches large, I am able to reach sides of the screen easily. But then, I’ve got big hands. The hardware Home button that Samsung smartphones are known for is finally gone. The front of the S8 is an all-glass affair. Samsung calls this the ‘Infinity Display’.

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on review S8 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S8 beside the S8 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on Review: Software and User Interface

The OS and user interface look refined. Maybe it’s an illusion of the screen and aspect ratio. Maybe not. But there are no major leaps here. There is no app button on the S8: no on-screen button for opening the app drawer. You swipe up like on Pixel devices – or swipe down to access the app drawer.

There are also no signs (like the small arrow beyond the dock app on the Pixel) on the home screen to indicate what screen you are on. That is a cosmetic gripe for me. Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby has a dedicated hardware button on the left side of the phone for easy access. Unfortunately, I can’t say much about it till it is fully operational when the S8 starts shipping. It appears promising, but I question how much traction it will gain against Google Assistant.

Everything appears to be fast and responsive. But how the software holds up after intensive use remains to be seen.

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on review photos

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on Review: Hardware and Everything Else

Overall, this is very lovely hardware. It is easily the best we have seen so far this year. This is coming from someone who doesn’t really care for Samsung devices. We are curious about the battery life on that gorgeous HD display.

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on review S8 Plus rear
Rear shot of the Samsung Galaxy S8 beside the S8 Plus.

The fingerprint sensor is placed not below the camera lens as is traditional, but beside it. We think that is an odd location that may affect usability. Samsung probably didn’t give it much thought since there’s an iris scanner in the phone too. The few camera shots that we took with the S8’s camera all look good though.

Some More Samsung Galaxy S8 Photos

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on review top edge

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on review bottom edge

Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on Review: Wrap Up

In all, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus seem to be living up to the hype that preceded their formal announcement. It is hard to not be excited about these two beautiful smartphones. Do not forget to go through the full specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S8 specifications. Right up there along with the S8 is the Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus, the bigger sibling.

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IB Sam-Epelle

IB 'Hi Beezle' Sam-Epelle is passionate about smartphones and mobile technology; a solution provider; critical thinker; entrepreneur; the founder, Grand-Monumental Ink.

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